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White Shadows: A Dialectical View of the French African Novel

Carroll Yoder
ISBN: 978-0-91447-879-9
1991/237 pages


European colonialists assumed the prerogative to interpret the experiences of their “charges” and to decide the legitimacy of creative expression among Africans. Yoder examines that assumption, frankly discussing the racism and cultural chauvinism of nineteenth-century France, as well as colonial practices and the reactions to them as reflected in West African novels. Using a dialectical structure derived from Sartre, Yoder argues that modern African literature is, above all, a defiant response to years of oppression—the Africans’ own reply to questions once asked and answered only by whites.


Both an activist and a scholar, Carroll Yoder has taught French and English in Africa, Europe, and the United States. White Shadows represents his desire to integrate literary studies with the concerns of peace and justice.